Examples of Bigoted Commentary Rife on the Cable Networks and Talk Radio

Below are just a few of the many examples of deplorable comments by media personalities that Media Matters for America has documented over the past several years:

Limbaugh: “The government’s been taking care of [young blacks] their whole lives”

On the February 1 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh responded to a Reuters report on a University of Chicago study that found that “a majority of young blacks feel alienated form today’s government” by asserting: “Why would that be? The government’s been taking care of them their whole lives.”

Limbaugh handicapped races in new Survivor series, suggested “African-American tribe” worst swimmers, Hispanics “will do things other people won’t do”

On the August 23, 2006, broadcast of his radio program, Limbaugh suggested that the competition in the then-new season of CBS’ reality TV program, Survivor, in which contestants were divided into competing “tribes” by ethnicity, “is not going to be fair if there’s a lot of water events.” In support of this assertion, he cited a March 2 HealthDay article reporting that “young blacks — especially males — are much more likely to drown in pools than whites.”

O’Reilly said Virginia Beach mayor “should be baking pies, not running a major city”

On the April 6 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly stated that Virginia Beach Mayor Meyera Oberndorf “should be baking pies, not running a major city.” O’Reilly made the comment while discussing a March 30 automobile accident that resulted in the deaths of two teenage girls, reportedly at the hands of an illegal immigrant who said he had been drinking the night of the accident. O’Reilly blamed Oberndorf in part for the accident, saying that Virginia Beach’s “sanctuary city policy” prevented police from detaining and deporting the driver, despite three previous alcohol-related convictions.

O’Reilly to Jewish caller: “[I]f you are really offended, you gotta go to Israel”

O’Reilly responded to a Jewish caller to his radio show who objected to “Christmas going into schools” and explained that he “grew up with a resentment because I felt that people were trying to convert me to Christianity.” O’Reilly told the caller that America is “a predominantly Christian nation” and that “if you are really offended, you gotta go to Israel.” O’Reilly labeled the caller’s concerns “an affront to the majority” and insisted that “the majority can be insulted, too.” During his exchange with the caller, O’Reilly also mistakenly referred to “the seven candles” of Hanukkah.

O’Reilly: Abducted child “liked … his circumstances,” had “a lot more fun” than usual

On the January 15 edition of his television show, O’Reilly said of Shawn Hornbeck — who was abducted at the age of 11, held for four years, and recently found in Missouri — that “there was an element here that this kid liked about his circumstances,” adding that he “do[esn’t] buy “the Stockholm syndrome thing.” O’Reilly also said: “The situation here for this kid looks to me to be a lot more fun than what he had under his old parents. He didn’t have to go to school. He could run around and do whatever he wanted.” When fellow Fox News host Greta Van Susteren pointed out that “[s]ome kids like school,” O’Reilly replied: “Well, I don’t believe this kid did.”

Boortz: Rep. McKinney “looks like a ghetto slut”

On the March 31, 2006, broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio program, Neal Boortz said that Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) “looks like a ghetto slut.” Boortz was commenting on a March 29 incident in which McKinney allegedly struck a police officer at a Capitol Hill security checkpoint. Boortz said that McKinney’s “new hair-do” makes her look “like a ghetto slut,” like “an explosion at a Brillo pad factory,” like “Tina Turner peeing on an electric fence,” and like “a shih tzu.” McKinney is the first African-American woman elected to Congress from Georgia.

Predicting Media Matters would flag his Cindy Sheehan attacks, Boortz also declared Islam a religion of “violent, bloodthirsty cretins” and called Prophet Muhammad a “phony rag-picker”

On the July 19, 2006, edition of this show, Boortz claimed that “at its core,” Islam is a “violent, violent religion,” called “this Muhammad guy [] just a phony rag-picker,” and asserted that “[i]t is perfectly legitimate, perhaps even praiseworthy, to recognize Islam as a religion of vicious, violent, bloodthirsty cretins.” Boortz also labeled Cindy Sheehan a “lunatic”, a “moonbat”, and a “crazy broad,” adding, “I had to give Media Matters something to do.”

Boortz suggested that Katrina victim turn to prostitution

On the October 24, 2005, broadcast of his program, Boortz suggested that a victim of Hurricane Katrina, then-housed in an Atlanta hotel, consider prostitution. “If that’s the only way she can take care of herself,” Boortz posited, “it sure beats the hell out of sucking off the taxpayers.” The woman was featured in an October 23, 2005, Atlanta Journal-Constitution article; Boortz repeated her first name on the air.

Boortz: Islam is a “deadly virus” and “we’re going to wait far too long to develop a vaccine to find a way to fight this”

On October 16, 2006, Boortz declared: “Islam is a virus. It is a deadly virus that is spreading throughout Europe and the Western world,” adding that “we’re going to wait far too long to develop a vaccine to find a way to fight this.” Later in the broadcast, Boortz, who stated that he “would be willing to put money that Spain will be operating under Islamic law within 10 years,” predicted “that Europe is doomed, and America’s going to have a tough time surviving in anything close to its present form after America falls to Islam — to the Muslim creeping virus.” Boortz also characterized Islam as “not a very pleasant religion” and “a creeping mold infestation.” He also said of Muslims: “[T]hese people are violent.”

CNN’s Beck to first-ever Muslim congressman: “[W]hat I feel like saying is, ‘Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies’ “

On the November 14, 2006, edition of his CNN Headline News program, Glenn Beck interviewed then-Rep.-elect Keith Ellison (D-MN), who became the first Muslim ever elected to Congress on November 7, and asked Ellison if he could “have five minutes here where we’re just politically incorrect and I play the cards up on the table.” After Ellison agreed, Beck said: “I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, ‘Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.’ ” Beck added: “I’m not accusing you of being an enemy, but that’s the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way.”

CNN’s, ABC’s Beck on Clinton: “[S]he’s the stereotypical bitch”

On the March 15 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Beck said: “Hillary Clinton cannot be elected president because … there’s something about her vocal range.” He went on to say, “There’s something about her voice that just drives me — it’s not what she says, it’s how she says it,” adding, “She is like the stereotypical — excuse the expression, but this is the way to — she’s the stereotypical bitch, you know what I mean?” Beck also asked: “[A]fter four years, don’t you think every man in America will go insane?” and pleaded, “I’m sorry for being such a pig. But please, America. Please. I don’t think I could do it for four years. I mean, sure the country is going to go to hell in a handbasket, but could we make this about me for a second? I just don’t think I could take it from her.” He also said that “there is a range in women’s voices that experts say is just the chalk, I mean, the fingernails on the blackboard.”

Beck has a warning for Muslims “who have sat on [their] frickin’ hands” and have not “lin[ed] up to shoot the bad Muslims in the head”

On the August 10, 2006, broadcast of his radio program, Beck warned that “[t]he world is on the brink of World War III” and that “Muslims who have sat on your frickin’ hands the whole time and have not been marching in the streets” will face dire consequences. Beck made his comments toward Muslims who he claimed “have not been saying, ‘Hey, you know what? There are good Muslims and bad Muslims. We need to be the first ones in the recruitment office lining up to shoot the bad Muslims in the head.’ ”

Beck called Hurricane Katrina survivors in New Orleans “scumbags,” said he “hates” 9-11 families

On the September 9, 2005, edition of his radio show, Beck referred to survivors of Hurricane Katrina who remained in New Orleans as “scumbags.” Also, after acknowledging that nobody “in their right mind is going to say this out loud,” Beck attacked victims of the disaster in general and the families of victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, saying: “I didn’t think I could hate victims faster than the 9-11 victims.”

Coulter refers to Edwards as “faggot,” has smeared Dems in similar fashion many times before

In a March 2 speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), right-wing pundit Ann Coulter said she “can’t really talk about” Democratic presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards (NC) because “you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot.’ ” The CPAC audience applauded her comment. Coulter’s comments, which aired on CSPAN, were also documented by the weblog Think Progress. It was not the first time Coulter has smeared a prominent Democrat with a homophobic epithet, and it is not the first time that Coulter has ridiculed Edwards.

Plugging new book in latest solo Today appearance, Coulter attacked liberals, 9-11 widows

On the June 6, 2006, edition of NBC’s Today, Coulter criticized the widows of victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks for “speak[ing] out using the fact that they’re widows” and “using their grief” and “the fact that you lost a husband” to make “a political point while preventing anyone from responding.” She further argued that “the Left” exploits a “doctrine of infallibility,” and that “[i]f they have a point to make about the 9-11 Commission, about how to fight the war on terrorism,” they “put[] up Cindy Sheehan … put[] out these widows.” As a result, Coulter said, conservatives “always have to respond to someone who just had a family member die” and appear to be “questioning the authenticity of the grief.”

Carlson referred to Canada as “retarded cousin”


MSNBC host Tucker Carlson twice referred to Canada as a “retarded cousin”: First, on the December 15, 2005, edition of MSNBC’s The Situation with Tucker Carlson (later renamed Tucker), he stated that “Canada is a sweet country. It is like your retarded cousin you see at Thanksgiving and sort of pat him on the head. You know, he’s nice, but you don’t take him seriously. That’s Canada.” Then, on the September 22, 2006, edition of the show, Tucker purported to point out the “incompetence of Canada,” saying, “It’s too easy, Willie. … I feel like I’m beating up a retarded cousin almost.” Geist hurriedly added: “I’m going to move on quickly. Maybe nobody will notice you said it.”

Carlson: “[G]rouchy feminists with mustaches” control the Democratic Party

On the November 22, 2004, edition of the now-defunct CNN’s Crossfire, Carlson stated: “And that’s about the era [the 1970s] that still defines the Democratic Party, the era of Our Bodies Ourselves [women’s health book collective], of solar [power], not nukes. … You know what I mean? … A time when grouchy feminists with mustaches controlled the party, and they still do.”

Savage: CNN’s Blitzer and King “would have pushed Jewish children into the oven”; “curry favor with the turbanned hoodlums”

On the August 7, 2006, edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Michael Savage declared that CNN hosts Wolf Blitzer and Larry King “look like the type that would have pushed Jewish children into the oven to stay alive one more day to entertain the Nazis.”

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